Modified atmosphere packaging: When and how to use it?
On many occasions in the kitchen you will find the need to vacuum pack foods that are delicate such as chips, spinach leaves, fresh pasta ... In addition, food must be kept in excellent conditions for as long as possible.
Modified atmosphere packaging
One of the most useful applications of a professional vacuum packer is the possibility of packaging food in a modified atmosphere. The MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) technique is used to package and preserve foodstuffs by wrapping them with a gases mixture that delays the natural oxidation process of fresh foods. This mixture is usually called inert gas, as it is composed of gases that are not altered under different conditions of pressure and temperature. Some of the most outstanding advantages of the MAP technique are:
• Allows food to stay fresh longer
• Facilitates transportation and storage of raw materials
• Protects fragile foods from breakage
• Prevents shrinkage
How can you pack in modified atmosphere in your bar or restaurant? It is very simple! With the help of a professional packaging machine, you will extract the air from the inside of the bag where the food is. The second step is to connect the gas cylinder to your machinery, and inject it gradually into the container to seal it. The food will be distributed inside the vacuum bag, increasing its durability and safeguarding it from external conditions of storage and transport. Here are the factors that determine when and how to use modified atmosphere packaging in your professional kitchen.
Modified atmosphere packaging according to the foodstuff
Modified atmosphere packaging is well known in food distribution chains. It preserves a large quantity of fresh food present in supermarkets such as meats, fish, dairy products, fruits and vegetables or pastry and bakery products. In these cases, the packaging is carried out with industrial machinery of enormous proportions that does not adapt to the real needs of a bar or restaurant.
If what you want is to carry it out in your professional kitchen, we recommend you to evaluate beforehand the type of packaging to carry out according to the food. For example, fresh meat and fish can be packaged with a 100% vacuum, as they will not deform. You can use modified atmosphere packaging for rice, flour, coffee, vegetables for refrigeration ...
The inert gas: its composition
Please note that in modified atmosphere vacuum packaging different gases are often used in proportional mixtures. The most commonly used are nitrogen and carbon dioxide, as they delay the food oxidation. Do you want one advice? Avoid using oxygen since this gas favours the degradation of food and (in high loads) it can lead to risks of fires or explosions. If you need it, always use it with caution and try to close the gas cylinder correctly.
Duration of modified atmosphere packaging
One of the most frequently asked questions about the modified atmosphere packaging technique is: how long does the inert gas inside the bag last? You should know that if you correctly execute the packaging and sealing process and also use quality materials, the gas can be kept for a long time. It depends on the mixture used and the food type. It is advisable not to leave fish for more than 2-3 days and filleted meats for more than 6-8 days inside the bag.
Very important! There are fresh foods that release gases, such as fruits or vegetables, so it is not recommended leaving them more than a week packaged or at room temperature.
The importance of the packaging
Did you know that the packaging used also influences the preservation of food? Vacuum bags are usually made of plastic or metallised materials. For modified atmosphere packaging, you can also put a plastic or aluminium tray in each vacuum bag, which is very useful when it comes to preserving pre-cooked dishes.
We remind you that this technique has a number of main benefits for your kitchen:
• Greater durability of food
• Prevents fragile foods from breaking down
• Improves the transport and storage process
• Helps reduce costs
To check this and other features that can offer a professional vacuum packer, we show you this video where you will discover equally interesting options for your kitchen.
Remember to contact us whenever you have doubts about the packaging techniques appropriate for your restaurant, catering, hotel ... We will inform you and offer you the best solutions. We are waiting for you!